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cutting strips

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    Jim ... I have found that if you just cut the first strip as sacrificial, it pretty much gets things to the point where the strips are uniform ... this is for the "normal" rough lumber type of edge, if you get into something a little more dramatic, that may require more.

    Lance, we are talking 18' plus length boards, finding similar boards with a straight edge for that operation , may be quite a challenge, on shorter pieces it could work for sure.

    On shorter pieces I usually use a sled for the wood to establish a straight edge.



      Snapping a chalk line and using two or more boards clamped or tacked to the line would work, too. If I had to do it today I guess I'd be making use of two planks myself since I don't have anything longer than 16' on hand.

      I daydream sometimes about building a strip canoe or kayak but haven't yet decided to do so. Although my first instinct would be to turn to the band saw or my Unisaw to rip the strips I will admit that the idea of a fence equipped circular saw made me go "Hmmm...." I'd likely give it a shot, too.

      I believe that we've pretty certainly lost the battle to protect the ash trees from the Asian Longhorned Beetle and that long ash will only get harder to find. There's a number of hardwood sawmills within an hour or so of me. I plan to start nosing around to see who would be willing and able to cut some long ash boards for things like gunwales and whether anyone in the region cuts long cedar boards. There's a good custom cabinet and millwork shop nearby with whom I've collaborated on a few jobs since we retired to North Carolina and I'll start by picking their brains. If I find anything out I'll post back and maybe we can figure out the logistics of getting some long stock to at least some of the members here.

      Best regards to all,



        Lance, it all starts with a dream ! I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about building these things. It's been that way for 30 yrs. An Addiction for sure !

        I first saw those 18.5' Ash planks, They were buried under stacks of other wood. All I could see, was the edge grain. I was going to have to wait awhile to get them. I paid for three planks on the spot !

        It was a few months later that I was able to get them. I was chomping at the bit to get them home. Since then I stock piled 5 more planks. More than I will use in a lifetime. At least I can sleep at night now !

        Searching for lumber is a part of the fun !

        Good luck !

        Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !


          Jim, I would note that my dream build might be Nancy's nightmare. When we had our farm I had a nice 5800 square foot shop a hundred yards from the house. Unfinished projects such as disassembled tractors or military trucks. both which we collected at the time, abounded safe from her disapproving looks. Now that my only shop space is in the basement and very visible unfinished projects tend to give her a rash.....which generally prove to be contagious.

          And as I'm a former finish and trim carpenter, builder of custom houses and and a longtime maker of specialty staircases she's used to seeing me work at a commercial pace. All of which sometimes spreads the rash if I don't treat projects like paying jobs that are keeping me from starting the next paying job or if I want to step back for a few days (weeks?).

          I've used a fair bit of epoxy as an adhesive or topcoat but have never done any fiberglass-epoxy work. I guess that someday I will mill up some strips, glue up a couple of curved practice panels and lay up some fiberglass on them just to get my feet wet.

          And I agree that sometimes the hunt for the "just right" board or veneer is a big part of fine woodworking. I'm a sucker for book-matched door panels, naturally curved grain in boat parts etc.

          Best regards to all,